‘Metro Rail foundation soon’
Published: 2013-09-06 12:14:28.0 BdST Updated: 2013-09-06 12:14:28.0 BdST
Communications Minister Obaidul Quader has informed that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will soon lay the foundation stone of the proposed Metro Rail project in capital Dhaka as the funding agency Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has given a go ahead for the appointment of a consultant.
Talking to reporters in Chittagong on his way to Khagrhachharhi on Friday, the minister said the project has moved a step forward with the clearance for the appointment of the consultant.
During his visit, the Communications Minister will inaugurate 16 bridges on Chittagong-Khagrhachharhi road. On his way he also inspected Chittagong’s Oxygen-Hatazari Road at Charpul and expressed his displeasure over the progress of the restoration work.
He also issued a show-cause notice to Roads and Highways Department Executive Engineer (Chittagong) Rana Priyo Barua for the delay in restoration work.
The government signed a deal with JICA for implementation of the project on Feb 20.
According to the deal, the JICA under Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) development project will provide a loan of Tk 9.24 billion for the appointment of consultant for the project.
Of the total cost of Tk 220 billion, JICA will provide Tk 165.95 billion, while the Bangladesh government will take care of the remaining Tk 53.90 billion.
The 20.1-kilometre-long Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line-6 will run from Uttara Third Phase and pass through Pallabi, the west side of Rokeya Sarani and Farmgate, Hotel Sonargaon, Ruposhi Bangla, TSC of Dhaka University, Doel Intersection, Topkhana Road and Bangladesh Bank.
A survey was conducted during the caretaker government regime to construct the metro rail or elevated expressway across the capital, which got momentum after the Hasina government assumed office in January 2009.
But the project got stuck after Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) raised objections to the first design of the proposed metro rail route through Bijoy Sarani stating that its height would hinder air traffic at Tejgaon.
After the government revised the design of the overland metro project by excluding Bijoy Sarani from the original design, the JICA agreed to provide the necessary fund at a meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Dec 2 last year.
According to the Planning Division, the rail track would be constructed in three phases. The Pallabi-Sonargaon Hotel route (11 kilometres) would be completed by 2019 and the Sonargaon-Bangladesh Bank route (4.4 kilometres) by 2020. The remaining Uttara-Pallabi route (4.7 kilometres) was expected to be completed by 2022.
The government said once the 'Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project' was implemented, some 60,000 commuters would be able to travel through Metro Rail every hour.
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